Black_Pearl_1Metallica’s James Hetfield has earned another award.

Black_Pearl_2It’s not a Grammy or a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (he already has those). This time, it’s the Goodguys Custom of the Year Award, which he earned for his latest custom hot rod creation called “Black Pearl.” Hetfield earned the prestigious award at last weekend’s Goodguys 32nd annual All American Get-Together in Pleasanton, CA.

Chances are you’re familiar with Hetfield’s work with Metallica. Now it’s time to familiarize yourself with Hetfield’s work as a car designer–get the details on “Black Pearl” in the Goodguys official press release below:

Pleasanton, CA – Rock & roll music and custom cars have a lot in common. A creative spirit, immense talent and uncompromising dedication are required to create and reveal the inner soul of a song or a car.

James Hetfield has mastered both.

His band Metallica sits in the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame while serving as the face of heavy metal music for decades. His ever-growing stable of custom cars have won hot rodding’s biggest prizes. His latest effort, a coach built custom he designed with partner Rick Dore, is his most powerful statement yet.

He calls it the “Black Pearl.” Last weekend in Pleasanton, CA, the car won Goodguys’ 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year award during the Goodguys 32nd annual All American Get-Together.

Unlike Hetfield’s previous custom sleds, Black Pearl is completely scratch-built. It’s not any particular make or model. It’s sculpted, handmade aluminum body is inspired by the tear drop contours and seamless body transitions of coach built European and American cars of the 1930s. It rests on a custom built chassis which utilizes the outer frame rails of a 1948 Jaguar.

Southern California’s Marcel and Luc De Lay, two of the top coach builders in the world, handled the chores of forming, shaping, and building the body. They’re one of only a handful of metal shapers, capable of taking on the task of building a one off custom car like the ‘Pearl.’

Said Hetfield of the De Lay’s prowess as metal sculptors: “As an artist myself, I see the passion, dedication, and perfectionism it takes to be good at your craft. I am humbled by their gift of metal sculpting. The fact that they started with a 8 x10 drawing and ended up with a complete car is a testament to the ability of the human mind and hands. It still blows people’s minds when they ask what body we started with and we say ‘steel sheets.”

The’ Pearl was painted in a luscious deep PPG black by Darryl Hollenbeck of Vintage Color Studio, offering a perfect contrast to the brushed brass trim. Inside the cabin is a stellar Ron Mangus interior. Wheelsmith Fabrications made the black artillery style wheels featuring matching brushed brass caps. Under the hood lies a 375-horsepower 302-cubic-inch Ford V8 but this car isn’t about power–it’s about style. It’s also about expanding horizons and breaking new ground.

In addition to the Goodguys 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year, The ‘Pearl’ won the Sam Barris award as well as the Custom d’Elegance at the Sacramento AutoRama.

Fellow finalists for the Goodguys 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year award included John Fleming, Asher, OK (1939 Lincoln Zephyr); Brandon Penserini, American Canyon, CA (1955 Cadillac); Mike &Rita Gardner, Livermore, CA (1956 Packard); and Mark and Kelly Skipper, Fresno, CA (1951 Ford Victoria).


Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.